Vernon, BC: Aidan Porter and the Vernon Vipers put the Wenatchee Wild on lock down in Game 4 as Matt Kowalski, Connor Marritt and Josh Latta provided the offense as the Vernon Vipers defeated the Wild 3-0 to take a 3 games to 1 series lead.
The Vipers came out strong in the first period carrying the play for the first few shifts. Matt Kowalski nearly converted on an odd man rush, but narrowly missed the net. Aidan Porter wasn’t tested often in the period, but his first shot against came from a good look from AJ Hodges but Porter flashed the left pad. The Vipers opened the scoring after a Judson point shot was blocked in front, but the rebound found Matt Kowalski and he tucked in the loose puck to make it 1-0. The Vipers were then thrust into a PK situation and Connor Marritt had two glorious opportunities on that kill, but couldn’t beat Austin Park. Teddy Wooding would get another good look later in the period, but again couldn’t beat Park as the period ended 1-0 in Vernon’s favour.
The second period was a frame that had a lot of things happening, but not much in the way of shots as the two teams would total just 11 shots in the middle period combined. Ben Sanderson came close to giving the Vipers a two goal lead early in the period, but couldn’t find the back of the goal. Wenatchee went back on a powerplay but as it has at home this post season, the PK was stellar killing it off very effectively. Soon it was the Vipers turn on the powerplay and they’d convert as a Michael Young slap shot kicked loose to Connor Marritt at the side of the net and he slammed home the 2-0 goal. More chances for the Vipers but Austin Park was up to the challenge turning aside the remainder of Vernon’s chances. Wenatchee’s best chance of the period came to Marko Reifenberger, but Aidan Porter made his best of the night to keep his team up by a pair after 40 minutes.
In the third, the Wild pushed as expected and carried the play for a number of minutes. The Vipers bent, but didn’t break, then went on the attack. The Vipers outshot the Wild in the final period and really did a nice job of not sitting on the lead. Porter was strong when called upon and the Wild had difficulties getting pucks to the goal. With Austin Park on the bench for the extra attacker, Josh Latta would bury one into the empty net to give the Vipers a 3-0 win and a 3-1 series lead.
The series heads back to Wenatchee for Game 5 on Friday night at the Town Toyota Centre.